One of the most inspirational people I know is Katrina, my old roommate from Denver. She’s the optimistic, adventurous, and passionately extroverted world-traveller I wish I could be. I’ve always admired her fearlessness and thirst for life. She’s traveled through Africa, Europe, South America, and China. She has friends across the globe due to her magnetic personality. After she visited me in Portland last summer, she mailed me a book titled “Off the Map” and it was a journal of two travelers who were making their way across Europe.
It was a quick read, but made me think pretty deeply about a few of the themes it presented, mainly the idea of having a “destination” in life. I’m definitely guilty of living in a ladder-method, where I am constantly working to achieve the next rung which will hopefully bring me closer to achieving happiness at the top of the ladder. “Off the Map” made me realize that life isn’t a vertical ladder, but a cyclical one. You can keep achieving your goals and overcoming obstacles, but you’ll never reach the top, because the top doesn’t exist. Even if it did, hypothetically, do you really want to live every day without motivation or a challenge to overcome? The overarching message of the book was to essentially “enjoy the ride” and savor the daily struggles.
Countless other movies, books, and songs have proposed this idea, as well. I know it is nothing new. As much as I try to enjoy my daily obstacles, I’ve recently found that I have few. My life is at a really good place right now and it makes me extremely excited about the future. My job is going well and I love going to work every morning. We just ordered my complementary pair of glasses so I should be receiving them in a couple weeks! I’ve had the same glasses since high school, so this is quite exciting. Moreover, I spend my free time doing exactly what I love: starting new building projects, improving my living space, and hosting friends on the weekends. My daily stressors revolve around which color couch to get for my living room and how to transport it home – hardly a “real world” problem.
I am excited for the rest of 2015 and feel like it has amazing potential. Of course, nothing could live up to my whirlwind of a year in 2013, but I’m sure going to try!